Archive for September, 2009


Thursday, September 17th, 2009

This is one of those days… one of those really good days!

After lots of angst & drama, resolution on a couple scores-

  1. I have decent health insurance, that even covers pre-existing conditions, and I can actually afford it! Virginia can be my home base, although I still plan to be mostly nomadic. (And yes, I still believe strongly that we need a national single-payer system. I would not wish these last few months of uncertainty on anyone.)
  2. We finally got rain, after a REALLY long dry spell. We could use some more, but at least it’s a start.

So, thanks to all who have been so supportive thru all my whining & moaning. I appreciate all the hand-holding (& patience!) Once again, things do have a way of working out.

And now I’m going to take a nap…

Neighborhood grocers, redux

Sunday, September 13th, 2009
George Bowers Grocery, Staunton, VA

George Bowers Grocery, Staunton, VA

Staunton (that’s “Stan-ton,” not “Stawn-ton”) Virginia takes pride in its blend of reverence for the old, with modern twists. Like the trolley car buses that minimize downtown traffic, while allowing easy access to landmarks and shops.

Not far from Downtown , New Town Staunton is also experiencing a renaissance. As old mansions and homes are being restored, so are some of the storefronts that served their original owners.

One of these is the George Bowers Grocery, originally founded in 1881. It’s been reclaimed to service by a young duo- Brian Wiedemann and Katie McCaskey- who stock the shelves with a variety of wines/beers, including many from Virginia and locally produced foodstuffs. They also grow some of  the produce they sell, in a rented city lot a few blocks away at Lush Farms.

Katie says that while they aren’t a one-stop shopping experience, the neighborhood has been very supportive of their efforts. And why not, when each item is carefully selected by the owners, who cultivate relationships with both their suppliers and patrons, and serve as a knowledgeable link between them.

In Downtown Staunton, there is another neighborhood grocery, with a slightly different slant. Cranberry’s is a natural foods grocery and deli (with juice bar, and gluten-free choices.) Like George Bowers, the accent is on local, and healthy.

While neighborhood groceries may not supplant the supermarket chains, the idea of a local grocery as a link, more accessible than a once or twice a week farmers market, and a gathering place for the neighborhood, may be an idea whose time has come- again.


Friday, September 11th, 2009

Colchicums (Autumn Crocus)

Colchicums (Autumn Crocus)

Well, it’s been a long dry spell this summer. The ground is as hard as cement, and only a few things are blooming. The colchicums don’t seem to mind at all, nor do the sedums.

The quote of the week:

“If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.”

— Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein

  • You, too, can have a free meditation timer from They also have one for iPhones. Basically a starting sound, a sound in the middle and one at the end, with silence in the middle. Now you don’t have to estimate how long you’ve been meditating.
  • A proverb for every situation.
  • Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain. (Note to self… need to go to Barcelona)
  • Twitter hashtags that didn’t make the cut.

quick update

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Virginia is for... developers?

Virginia is for... developers?

Yup, I’m still alive. Had a fun visit w/cousin SD & visited lots of the places you’re already heard about. Introduced her to the joys of thrift shops… have created a monster 😉

Had a luncheon for Potomac Conservancy & talked w/other landowners considering easements. Having to navigate thru a construction zone added a little je ne sais quoi to the experience.

One thing I’m focusing on this summer is the “beam in your own eye” phenomenon. Sure, it’s easy to see where other people are tripping themselves up. But I’ve been looking for my own stumbling blocks… All I can say is… be careful what you wish for. I feel like I’ve been thwacked by a cosmic 2×4.

Had fun juicing tomatoes yesterday w/my fancy juicer (single auger, masticating, for those of you who care about these things.) All that came out was a tiny bit of skin & seeds- the rest turned into really great raw juice.

We have a surplus of really hot peppers; I need instructions on how to make a ristra.

More later….